London fashion often gets overshadowed by their iconic, classy French neighbors across the channel. Don’t get me wrong, the French have rightfully earned their place as the queen of women’s fashion. However, there are so many noteworthy trends in London that haven’t made their way across the pond to us as they are often eclipsed by France’s spotlight.
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London fashion, like the city itself, is a melting pot of classical styles with new, cutting-edge trends. Curating outfits that blend iconic silhouettes with edgy remnants from the ‘90s punk age, Londoners know how to bring the classic world into their modern moment. They’re also experts at combining casual and elegant pieces in one outfit, pairing a classic coat with trendy sneakers, or styling loose-fitting jeans with a chic blazer.
Having lived in the U.K. myself, I narrowed down three looks that I personally wore that got me the most compliments walking down the Thames. These outfits will not only help you fit in like a local walking around Picadilly and Camden, but they will also turn heads both in the U.S. and across the pond!
1. The Iconic Wool Coat
If you could buy one piece to start your London wardrobe with, I would recommend the long, neutral blazer-like wool coat. These coats run on the pricier end, but they give every outfit a timeless foundation, even if it's layered over an edgy outfit underneath – a blending that is characteristically London. Plus, it will keep you warm on those infamous windy London days!
You can curate an outfit with this coat with black skinny jeans or leggings. You will also find this coat paired with loose-fitted, light-washed jeans for a more casual look. London ladies are pros at sporting loose-fitted clothing while still retaining a feminine physique, like pairing loose trousers with this larger coat.
You can dress up this outfit by styling it with heels, or, most commonly, you will find this outfit paired with white sneakers. It’s quite normal to walk several miles across the city on any given day! If you want to go for an edgier look, pair this coat with the iconic London brand Doc Martens. Though this outfit is usually neutral-toned, London women know the power of a bright-colored lipstick. You can finesse this versatile coat with any outfit and a bold lipstick, and you will look ready to take on the city!
2. The Goes-With-Anything Blazer
Surprise surprise, London ladies love a chic blazer, and it’s the secret to their seemingly effortless ability to dress up even casual outfits. You will usually find Londoners wearing loose-fitted, straight blazers, but paired with the right pieces, they will complete a very flattering look. Whether a neutral color or a bold, gingham print, a blazer will give you that classic look when walking down London’s streets. Here are two ways to pair a blazer, from chic professional to casual.
I love these two outfits because they showcase the Londoner’s expertise in utilizing one piece of clothing for multiple looks and mix-matching elegant and casual. The first outfit dresses up casual jeans with a classy gingham blazer. The second outfit combines a chic blazer and heels with high-rise jean shorts and a white t-shirt. Whenever I’m in London, I love using my blazer to strike the perfect balance between casual and chic, and it never fails to get compliments.
3. The Timeless, Elegant Floral Dress
Finally, though London’s punk scene has influenced the edgy streak in women’s fashion, English style will always adore the whimsical, floral dress. London ladies know how to manipulate a dress for any occasion. They can create a practical, elegant outfit with a flowy, floral dress, sneakers, and a light jacket, and transform the same dress into an elegant outfit fit for high tea at the Lanesborough by switching to heels and a blazer. Here are two ways to pair a floral dress in London.
Once again masters of combining casual and chic in one outfit, both of these looks show the Londoner’s seamless way of dressing up and down an elegant, feminine dress. The first look transforms a casual sundress into an outfit fit for high tea with a blazer and heels. The second outfit transforms an elegant dress into a casual showstopper with a jean jacket and sneakers, which will help your feet last the whole day on London’s busy streets. This simple trick I learned in the U.K. has given more life to my dresses, enabling me to transform them into a multitude of looks.
Get the Look!
Ready to build your London wardrobe? Here are links to the pieces covered in the article!
The beauty of London’s fashion is that it enables women to create cutting-edge looks rooted in classic, timeless pieces. The interplay of casual and chic enables busy Londoners to get the most out of their clothing pieces that are always trendy and elegant. These looks are tried and true – by me personally and by the ladies of London. They’re bound to get you compliments on both sides of the pond as they have done for me!
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